Meine-Spielzeugkiste 2 | Updates

By Florian Spathelf

Find out all the details about Meine-Spielzeugkiste and their newest investor deal


Yesterday, Meine-Spielzeugkiste appeared on the German TV show "Die Höhle der Löwen" ("Die Höhle der Löwen" is the German version of "Shark Tank" in America or "Dragon's Den" in the UK). In this show, entrepreneurs present a first-class jury of well-known investors and a substantial TV audience their product or service. If the jury, the so-called lions, like what they see, they invest in the companies. Meine-Spielzeugkiste was able to impress! Details on the deal and the effects it will have on Meine-Spielzeugkiste and their Companists can be found in an interview with Meine-Spielzeugkiste founder Florian Spathelf.

Meine-Spielzeugkiste is the award-winning market leader specialised on renting out toys in Germany.

Ever since 08/19/2014, millions of people have been tuning in regulary to watch "Die Höhle der Löwen" (airs every Tuesday evening at 8:15pm on German TV channel VOX). On 08/16/2014, 1.84 million viewers watched the show which is an audience rating of 6.5 %. In the target group, 14-49 year olds, the show even achieved a rating of 11.4 %.


Trailer of the VOX program "Die Höhle der Löwen" 


Hi Florian, how did you find out about the TV program "Die Höhle der Löwen"?


One day we got a call, asking us whether we were interested in participating in the show. We spent a couple of days thinking about whether we really wanted to appear on a TV show. In the end, however, the possibility of winning over one of the jury members as an investor and being able to present our product on TV was enough to convince us that it was in fact a good idea. What we really like about "Die Höhle der Löwen" is that we were given the opportunity to actually contribute something to the show and to encourage more entrepreneurial spirit in Germany.


Did you have any expectations prior to going on the show and why did you decide to pitch your product on TV?


First of all, we wanted to use the show's publicity to convince as many parents as possible of the advantages of our product. A pleasant side-effect is obviously if one of the investors also takes a liking to the product. To be honest, we already had our hearts set on one of them. Despite how confident we were, we ended up feeling pretty nervous prior to our pitch. On the one hand, the challenge of pitching in front of such a large audience and such famous entrepreneurs was extremely appealing but, on the other hand, we would not have been the first candidates who enthusiastically present their product only to be torn apart on TV.  It is a bit like venturing into a lion's den. :-)


I guess it's fair to say that you have a lot experience pitching your product: Prior to your TV appearance you were able to win over hundreds of Companists and you, Florian, won a live pitch in the American show ThisWeekInStartups (watch here) followed by your triumph over the Venture Lounge (more information can be found here). However, pitching for "Die Höhle der Löwen" is a completely different kettle of fish. Could you prepare for it at all? It is, after all, only the first season in Germany so you couldn't really learn from other people's mistakes.

Pitching with a time limit in front of a jury, and to top it off with a 2 million strong audience was a completely new experience. A good presentation can be a game changer while a bad presentation would do us a lot of harm and would not shed a good light on Meine-Spielzeugkiste. Naturally, we did a lot of preparation. We prepared the presentation, studied up on the jury and made sure we headed off to the hair dresser.


Do you have any inclination of what effect the show has already had? Have you had more traffic on your website since the program was aired? Did you gain more subscribers? Was your server able to handle the rush?

Yesterday evening was an all-round success. We had a lot of traffic both during and after the show. We have registered in excess of 100,000 page views since yesterday evening and at one point even had 28,000 visitors on the site at the same time. So far, we have secured more than 300 new customers, which is the amount we usually secure in a period of two months. Our servers did not let us down. Everything worked smoothly thanks to Frank and his team who I want to commend for their outstanding work. They made it possible for us to use the TV-induced traffic to our advantage.

The team of Meine-Spielzeugkiste celebrating with their friends


The investors made you an offer during the show. Tell us a little about the deal.

We had planned to offer a 5% share for €150,000. Frank Thelen and Jochen Schweizer managed to persuade us to give up 10% for €200,000. Frank Thelen and his team started working with us right after the show. They conducted a comprehensive review and then went so far as to double his invested amount. In the end, he decided to invest €200,000 himself.

What are the consequences of said deal and how will it affect Companists?
The total investment of €300,000 for 15% has resulted in an improved business valuation. This means that the Companists’ shares will be diluted but the value of said shares will rise. We are currently determining the final investment details and will publish them in investor relations for all Meine-Spielzeugkiste Companists. Overall, this deal is naturally a big step forward as the company value will increase due to the investments and the investors’ know-how and their networks.


Were you able to benefit from the investors' feedback? What was their advice?

Frank Thelen’s experience in online businesses is naturally a wonderful asset. He has been supporting us in the design of the new website and provided us both with know-how and manpower. Jochen Schweizer’s network and his marketing power will come in handy during the Christmas season when we start selling vouchers. It is our dream constellation and we are completely overwhelmed by the investors’ commitment to our business.


Thank you very much for the interview, Florian!


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